From Shadow Play to the Silver Screen
By Paul Clee
(Clarion Books, Hardcover, 9780618445332, 192pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 2005
List Price: $22.00*
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Illustrated with black-and-white archival prints, drawings, and photographs From the simple camera obscura of the 1500s to the 17th century’s giant magic lanterns to the early films of Thomas Edison and the Lumicre brothers in the late 1800s, here is an intriguing story of invention and showmanship. Many of the techniques adopted by Hollywood were worked out by tinkerers, lanternists, and magicians in front of shocked and amazed audiences long before the first flickering black-and-white film was ever shown. This fascinating book explains how today’s moviesas well as photographs, special effects, and animationcame to be.
Peppered with first-hand accounts and newspaper reports, excerpts from the notes of early inventors and filmmakers, and descriptions and diagrams of detailed optical gadgets, Before Hollywood provides a window into the world of entertainment before movies were invented. It offers an illustrated tour of the beginnings of technologies that we take for granted today. Sidebars, afterword, timeline, endnotes, bibliography, Internet resources, and index.
Paul Clee has been a college instructor of English, humanities, and photography. His book Photography and the Making of the American West (Linnet Books/Shoe String Press) was named a 2004 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. He lives in Eureka, California.